Reacting to deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal's statement that 70% of Congressmen in Punjab were hooked to drugs, Dera Baba Nanak Congress MLA Sukhjinder Singh Randhawa has challenged him to take a dope test.
"I offer myself for the blood test and urge Sukhbir to do the same at any laboratory of his choice," Randhawa said in a statement on Tuesday. "Sukhbir must prove that he is not an addict before making such comments about Congressmen."
"Between the two of us, whoever tests positive, must quit politics," the MLA said.
Randhawa, also the Gurdaspur District Congress Committee (DCC) chief, said Sukhbir's statement reflected his immaturity and insensitivity towards a major issue. "The toll due to drug abuse may one day cross that due to terrorism in Punjab in the past," he added.
"The situation is so alarming that nearly every family was directly or indirectly facing the drug addiction problem," Randhawa said. "The number of Punjabi youth in the army is decreasing as they are losing their physical fitness due of drugs."
Countering Sukhbir's statement that drugs were being smuggled into the state through the international border, over which the state had no jurisdiction, Randhawa sought to know what was being done to check the sale of drugs in the state.
"Foreigners are not coming here to sell drugs," the MLA said. "While smuggled drugs are being sold in the countryside, the police force has failed to check this menace. At times, even the police look away as those involved in the trade are patronised by the ruling party politicians."
"Instead of making baseless statements, Sukhbir must introspect on the statement by AICC general secretary Rahul Gandhi to find a solution," he said. "The Congress will support the ruling alliance in its campaign to eradicate the menace."